Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday stated that except the rule of law applies to every citizen of Nigeria without an exception, it can in no way be effective in fulfilling it’s purpose for the much expected change in the country.
Osinbajo who spoke at Day Two of the ongoing 21st National Economic Summit in Abuja on the topic: ‘’Reforming Public Institutions to Ensure Competitiveness And Accountability”, also noted that the reform of public institutions is critical for efficient and transparent use of public resources as well as sustainable delivery of public goods at national and sub-national levels.
He said, ‘’I find that everybody will like the rules to be applied so long as it will not apply to himself. We can’t apply the rules except we apply the rules to all of us; there should be no sacred cows.”
The Vive President further disclosed that Government was embarking on the reform of public institutions with the fundamental objective to enhance their capacity and capability effectively and efficiently in response to the needs and demands of the citizens.
‘’The key element of our institutional reform agenda, first is transparency and accountability. The whole idea is participatory governance, checks and balances which invariably will ensure policies and outputs of public institutions response to the needs and wants of citizens,” Osinbajo said.
He stressed that the specific reform agenda currently being implemented by the Federal Government, according to the Vice President were focused at achieving fiscal discipline, revenue diversification and efficient collection of government revenue.
He outlined some of the on-going specific initiatives to include the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), adoption of zero-based budgeting, bottom-up economic planning model, the Anti-Corruption Committee and capacity building for public servants.
The Vice President also reiterated that the government of President Mohammadu Buhari will not spare any corrupt person in the fight against corruption.
“There is always a sense that it is someone else that will effect this desired change. I think we must be one in deciding in this country that we want a change,” he said.
While noting that individual Nigerians would like the rules to be enforced as long as it is not enforced on them, Osinbajo however, regretted the ethnic and religious considerations and interpretations attributed to the fight, saying it clogged the wheel of justice.
He said, “If we pick up somebody here and want to try him, I know how many calls I will get from people in this room. I’ve had the experience in public service and I don’t mind being the tough guy. I’ve sacked people that needed to be sacked. So there are no sacred cows, the rules will be applied anyway.”
He also assured that it was possible to achieve the reform of the nation’s public institutions against any known cynicisms or challenges.
‘’I think that an important message which we have taken from this discussion, is that it is entirely possible to reform our public institutions, to turn our country around. I perfectly have no doubt in my mind about that,” Osinbajo said.
The Vice president also charged the elites in the country, including the participants at the event to play a more significant role in attaining such a national objective, especially in upholding existing rules and regulations.